Ground Zero mosque open to new site

Jan. 30, 2011 at 12:59 PM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 30 (UPI) -- A Muslim cleric says he would be open to moving the site of the so-called Ground Zero mosque in New York to a different location.

Imam Feisel Abdul Rauf told the Buffalo (N.Y.) News that he would be open to building on a different site should one be offered.

"I would move because my whole life is about improving relationships with people, and once the project is established, it will have an impact," Rauf said.

The mosque project stirred up a storm of controversy in the United States when it was proposed for a site just two blocks from where the World Trade Center stood before being destroyed in the 2001 terrorist attack by al-Qaida.

The newspaper said Sunday that while no alternative sites have been offered, Rauf contends the uproar has cooled down somewhat. "9/11 family members themselves have said they need to move the discussion in America to one of a mutual healing," Rauf said. "And one of the things that is very clear is that we cannot have that discussion without Muslims at the table."

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